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What the newspapers say: July 16, 2007

Luni, 16 iulie 2007, 0:00

In the newspapers today, economists share divergent opinions on the latest economic developments which lead to political controversies over new social policies. Economists consider that policy makers should have in mind that Romania is not facing an economic boom but rather a notable growth.

More in the news, the main opposition party, the Social Democrats, blocked the uninominal voting project even though it commonly agreed with Liberals and Democrats to pass it.

Elsewhere in the papers, Romania's practicing prices are with 70% higher as compared to the European average. Thus, Romania is on an equal foot with prices in Hungary but superior to Bulgaria or the Czech Republic.

Romania libera reads about the latest economic increase which enabled serious controversies on the political scene. The controversy arose due to the governmental adoption of the pensions` law, which calls for a 40% boost.

Now on the President's desk to be promulgated, the law raised economic questions on whether the GDP can sustain this social initiative.

Thus, the paper cites economists arguing that Romania faces a notable economic growth and not an economic boom since countries as Russia registered a bigger increase in their GDP.

However, the steady economic growth in Romania is sustained by real estate investments and the increase of credits on the market. Analysts expect another increase with the introduction of the private pensions` scheme.

The paper reads that Romania, along with Russia or Serbia are on the top developing countries, as compared to the Polish and the Bulgarians whose economies stagnate.

Economists forecast that GNP scores will steadily decrease from 7.7% in 2006 to 6.5% and 6.3% in 2007 and 2008. The tendency will remain constant for the coming years as well: the growth rhythm in 2009 will be 5.9% and for 2010 and 2011 will decrease to 5.8%.

Elsewhere in the news today, Cotidianul reads that the Social Democrats blocked the uninominal voting project even though the main political parties had reached a consensus over it.

The parties commonly agreed on voting the project proposed by the Pro Democratia Association, an active NGO in the field, which set up the uninominal plan based on the German model.

Since the Electoral Code Committee did not cast a vote on the project, chances are that the next Parliamentary elections to be held among the same lines as in the past.

The paper goes even further and argues that, since the Social Democrats hold majority, there is a big chance that, if the draft does not conform to the party's needs, they will block it.

Gandul reads that prices for food and non-alcoholic drinks in Romania are with 70% higher than the European average. Prices are even higher when it comes to fish, milk, cheese and eggs where the price can reach an 85% increase.

Bulgaria seems to be the least expensive, with a 56% rise from the European average, closely followed by Lithuania - 64%, Slovakia and Poland with 67%, the Czech Republic with 70%.

The price level represents a comparison among the registered level in a certain state and the European average. If the level overcomes 100%, it means that the country is more expensive than the European average.

More in the news today:

• The main opposition party, the Social Democrats, threaten to call for an extraordinary Parliamentary session if the President refuses to promulgate the pensions` law, reads Romania libera.
Evenimentul Zilei reads about the arrival of Rolling Stones, as the last pay back to the Communist regime Romania faced for decades.
Romania libera informs that Ford Motor Company will meet PM Tariceanu to discuss take over procedures for the Daewoo Automobiles in Craiova.

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